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Sat Jan 26, 2013, 08:57 PM

Adopted 2 senior dogs/ any advice?

I crossed posted this in the pet forum but thought someone here might have insight...

A small black dog, Maltese size and attributes. I have no idea how old she is other than she is a senior. She is blind. Does anyone have a clue how old she might be? I thought because of the blindness someone might have a semi educated quess. The couple of weeks here, she ate about 1/2 cup of food a day but this week she won't eat more than about 1/4 of a cup. Of course all she does is lay around and want me to hold her. Which I do.
The other one is a minature schnauzer, her sister. The guy who surrendered them rescued the Maltese one in 2007 & never knew her age, the schnauzer he had since a puppy. She's 12 and starting to lose her sight. She's adjusting very well and in typical schnauzer fashion, is having no problems with food.
They also had another "sister" but she had already been adopted when we found them.
They had been in the shelter ( a no kill) for 2 months.
Our other 3 dogs are slightly jealous but adjusting.
Does anyone have any advise or insight?


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Reply Adopted 2 senior dogs/ any advice? (Original post)
easttexaslefty Jan 2013 OP
reteachinwi Jan 2013 #1
peacebird Jan 2013 #2
easttexaslefty Jan 2013 #15
LibertyLover Jan 2013 #3
easttexaslefty Jan 2013 #16
PearliePoo2 Jan 2013 #4
Stuart G Jan 2013 #6
easttexaslefty Jan 2013 #17
DBoon Jan 2013 #33
okaawhatever Jan 2013 #5
easttexaslefty Jan 2013 #18
Tx4obama Jan 2013 #7
easttexaslefty Jan 2013 #19
dixiegrrrrl Jan 2013 #22
SheilaT Jan 2013 #27
easttexaslefty Jan 2013 #39
dhol82 Jan 2013 #8
easttexaslefty Jan 2013 #11
JackintheGreen Jan 2013 #37
easttexaslefty Jan 2013 #40
El Supremo Jan 2013 #9
easttexaslefty Jan 2013 #20
El Supremo Jan 2013 #26
easttexaslefty Jan 2013 #41
patrice Jan 2013 #10
easttexaslefty Jan 2013 #12
easttexaslefty Jan 2013 #13
Stuart G Jan 2013 #14
easttexaslefty Jan 2013 #21
ErikJ Jan 2013 #23
easttexaslefty Jan 2013 #42
geckosfeet Jan 2013 #24
Cleita Jan 2013 #25
easttexaslefty Jan 2013 #43
Cleita Jan 2013 #59
TDale313 Jan 2013 #28
easttexaslefty Jan 2013 #44
oldandhappy Jan 2013 #29
Pirate Smile Jan 2013 #30
easttexaslefty Jan 2013 #45
catchnrelease Jan 2013 #31
flvegan Jan 2013 #35
easttexaslefty Jan 2013 #46
RILib Jan 2013 #32
tpsbmam Jan 2013 #34
easttexaslefty Jan 2013 #48
smackd Jan 2013 #36
easttexaslefty Jan 2013 #49
DogPawsBiscuitsNGrav Jan 2013 #38
easttexaslefty Jan 2013 #50
pecwae Jan 2013 #47
easttexaslefty Jan 2013 #51
pecwae Jan 2013 #61
HillWilliam Jan 2013 #52
easttexaslefty Jan 2013 #53
HillWilliam Jan 2013 #62
bettyellen Jan 2013 #54
easttexaslefty Jan 2013 #55
bettyellen Jan 2013 #56
easttexaslefty Jan 2013 #57
bettyellen Jan 2013 #58
easttexaslefty Jan 2013 #60
backwoodsbob Jan 2013 #63

Response to easttexaslefty (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 09:04 PM

1. Don't teach 'em new tricks.

 

They're wise to that shit.

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Response to easttexaslefty (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 09:04 PM

2. No advice, but thank you for bringing these babies into an (obviously) loving home!

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Response to peacebird (Reply #2)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 09:28 PM

15. Thanks but it's my privilege

Their sweethearts. So loving. <3

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Response to easttexaslefty (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 09:06 PM

3. My only suggestion, and it's not educated

because my senior dogs are slightly bigger, is to love them. Use a good quality food formulated for senior dogs if that is possible and free feed so that the little black Maltese girl can eat whenever she feels like it. Other than that, don't change too much around the house so that she learns the lay of the land. And again, just love on them.

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Response to LibertyLover (Reply #3)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 09:29 PM

16. Thanks!

Got that part covered!!

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Response to easttexaslefty (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 09:10 PM

4. You are a beautiful person for adopting these dogs

and I assume you will do what's right.

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Response to PearliePoo2 (Reply #4)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 09:13 PM

6. I agree completely...you have done a wonderful thing....nt. k and r.

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Response to Stuart G (Reply #6)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 09:30 PM

17. It's no thing...

They are sweetie pies...

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Response to PearliePoo2 (Reply #4)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 11:47 PM

33. Yes

Old dogs are the best.

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Response to easttexaslefty (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 09:12 PM

5. I googled this topic to see what Cesar says and there are a couple of videos on youtube

I would imagine it's important for the blind dog to walk and know the boundries. Hopefully he will have a good way for the dog to follow a lead and you can take him/her around the room until she feels comfortable. Thanks for doing this.

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Response to okaawhatever (Reply #5)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 09:33 PM

18. I put a lead on her in the yard

I think she's been blind for awhile.
In the house she has been exploring some but mostly she wants to be held and sleep. I'll check out the videos, thanks!!
Btw, I have a blind 15 year old Aussie but he's been here his whole life so he knows the lay of the land.

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Response to easttexaslefty (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 09:14 PM

7. When you take them in to the veternarian for their yearly check up he/she will be able to...


tell how old they are and also be able to answer most of your questions.

Make a list of all your questions and take it in with you.

If you don't want to wait until check up time, you could probably still drop by the vets office and they'd probably tell you how old your dogs are without charging you.

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Response to Tx4obama (Reply #7)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 09:34 PM

19. Good idea!

I think I'm going to bring them in Friday and let him check them out.

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Response to easttexaslefty (Reply #19)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 10:19 PM

22. Please DO get them vet checked.

Most of your questions will be answered by the vet, including any mouth/teeth problems.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Reply #22)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 11:00 PM

27. What I was going to say.

Get them to a vet as soon as possible. The vet can probably tell you a whole lot about your wonderful new companions, and what you can and should do to make their lives better.

I am hugely in favor of adopting older animals. I'm a cat person myself, but the basics are still the same. It's nice not to have to deal with childhood (puppy or kitten) and the older animals are all too often left to languish. I've adopted older animals and have never regretted it. The oldest one was actually a cat who showed up in our front yard, apparently having decided we were her last best hope for a home. She was starving, probably only days from death, and flea infested. We took her in and she was one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life. She was only with me for about four years, and must have been at least 17 when she left me. I'd decided that she was older than my oldest cat, whose age I knew. She'd clearly been a well loved and well treated pet before she came into my life, and it breaks my heart to know she wound up on the street.

Currently I am without any pets, but someday when I'm ready for a new one, I'll go to a shelter and say, give me the oldest cat you have here.

As an aside, it does seem as though shelter animals somehow understand that they've been rescued, and they seem invariably to make the best, most wonderful companions ever.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #27)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 08:22 AM

39. I agree.

They couldn't be sweeter.
They will visit my vet Monday.

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Response to easttexaslefty (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 09:17 PM

8. just as a thought


could the maltese have some problems with her teeth? if it is painful to eat that will put a crimp in the consumption.
did she get checked out at the shelter?

also, can you feed her separately and add some sort of special nummy to get her appetite going? i know i used to have to give my two pounder glucose gel when she was young to make sure she had enough calories.

good luck.

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Response to dhol82 (Reply #8)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 09:23 PM

11. I think the Maltese one does have teeth

issues. I've been feeding her small kibbles and wet food. A good quality food.
They were up to date on shots and such but I'm taking them to my vet monday.
Thanks!!

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Response to easttexaslefty (Reply #11)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 02:30 AM

37. On the advice of my vet...

I have a 12+ y.o. rottie mix. We adopted him around age 6/7. He'd been a junkyard dog in Philly and possibly a rock chewer. His teeth were, are are, terrible. Broken, black, horrid looking. I asked our vet about it when we got him because he was having the same issues with eating. Both my main vet and her practice partner told me (on separate occasions) not to worry about teeth too much because dogs don't feel pain in the same way we do. She didn't suggest that they don't feel pain - and he certainly does in other places - but meant instead that things we find intensely painful like mouth pain don't trouble dogs in the same way as, say paw injuries or hip displagia (poor old man's got that now, too).

As for the sorta Maltese being off her feed, again my boy is the same way. He's prone to ear infections, which in his case are made worse by a corn meal allergy. Most cheap to mid range dog foods have corn meal as a primary ingredient and he just won't eat them. I've got three dogs totaling more than 200# between them, so I can't afford to go the Eukanuba + canned route, but there are upper mid range dry kibble brands out there that do not rely on corn. It may be you just haven't found the right kibble yet and she dog-senses it. Or whatever mysterious powers dogs seem to have in this regard.

Good luck to you.

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Response to JackintheGreen (Reply #37)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 08:25 AM

40. Thanks!

Malteses are notoriously finicky eaters anyway.

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Response to easttexaslefty (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 09:19 PM

9. Have you taken them to the Vet?

He/she can answer all your questions. Except the Vet won't tell you how much money you will spend to take care of their illnesses. Expect that to be significant.

I have placed and adopted several Irish Terriers. I rescued an old unadoptable girl that I didn't expect to live 3 months. She lived 3 years!

I spent about $10,000 on my two dogs' illnesses last year. That was unusual but not exceptional. We have insurance but it only paid about a quarter of the claims.

Look, dogs remind us of our own mortality. Just give 'em love and pay attention to their needs. They deserve it.

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Response to El Supremo (Reply #9)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 09:36 PM

20. I know they can get expensive.

But they are worth the best we can do for them, right? <3

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Response to easttexaslefty (Reply #20)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 10:52 PM

26. You bet!

You know dogs domesticated us.

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Response to El Supremo (Reply #26)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 08:26 AM

41. Mine sure have

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Response to easttexaslefty (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 09:21 PM

10. Don't assume that they don't want to play just because they are old.

My little old lady Lhasa Apso is about 15 years old. She sleeps almost all of the time, except for when I take her outside, where she always jumps off of the lowest step of our low deck and scampers off. If she gets out of the yard, the chase is on & she loves it, stopping periodically looking back to be sure that I still trying to catch her.

When her best buddy, 12 year old standard Collie, was still alive, their favorite game inside was to play doggie-riot with me scampering around and around between them in the rowdy doggie instigator role and if I added a few sound effects they'd both join in barking and yelping, while my more lady-like and younger Collie sat on the couch adding her doggie-growl vocalese to the mix.

I adopted the two older girls and was surprised by how puppy-like they can be, that is, if/when they are awake. My younger dog isn't like that, play seems to confuse her.

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Response to patrice (Reply #10)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 09:25 PM

12. She does enjoy sniffing

around outside but it's been wet and chilly here ( mostly) so I haven't let them out much to play. Only to potty...

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Response to patrice (Reply #10)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 09:26 PM

13. Maybe I need to

exercise her more...

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Response to easttexaslefty (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 09:27 PM

14. With all the lousy news out there...I am going to kick this again..everyone should see this....nt

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Response to easttexaslefty (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 09:42 PM

21. Thanks guys !!!!

I got some good advise! Thanks again!

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Response to easttexaslefty (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 10:22 PM

23. Walk them a lot

Besides eating, long walks are dogs' favorite thing. Freedom and fresh air with plenty of things to smell and mark along the way.

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #23)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 08:29 AM

42. As soon as it stops being icky

walking outside is on the agenda, thanks!

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Response to easttexaslefty (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 10:25 PM

24. I am thinking of doing the same - watching for replies....

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Response to easttexaslefty (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 10:45 PM

25. You need to take them to the vet to evaluate their medical situation.

They may be needing meds for chronic conditions that aren't obvious, and the vet can advise you as to a proper diet.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #25)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 08:31 AM

43. I've decided to take them on Monday

They were checked by the shelter vet & deemed healthy but I suppose I shouldn't give that to much weight...

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Response to easttexaslefty (Reply #43)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 01:35 PM

59. Even if the shelter vets are on spot, you need to establish a

veterinary relationship for them. Best wishes for your new family.

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Response to easttexaslefty (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 11:01 PM

28. Aww, congrats on your new family members.

Sounds like you got some good advice in this thread, and sure the vet will be able to give you more answers/suggestions, but wanted to add my "good on ya"s for giving these older fur babies a good home.

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Response to TDale313 (Reply #28)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 08:32 AM

44. Thank you

They are already very loved.

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Response to easttexaslefty (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 11:05 PM

29. Big hugs to you

and scratches to the critters. You are wonderful to take in these doggies and to love them so well. Hope all will be well with all of you two-legged and four-legged. My cat is in my lap as I type and I know you enjoy that warm feeling when the dogs are in your lap.

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Response to easttexaslefty (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 11:09 PM

30. You're an angel.

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Response to Pirate Smile (Reply #30)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 08:33 AM

45. Not so much.,

but thanks

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Response to easttexaslefty (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 11:16 PM

31. It's the nose!

Dogs are much more reliant on their sniffers than their eyes. So, once she gets used to the lay of the land I bet she will do fine, much like your Aussie.

One of the dog walkers at the dog park I take my guys to has started bringing a little one that was rescued by one of his clients. Toby is something like a Shi Tzu or Lhasa or mix of those types. He is older (age unknown) and mostly blind, and you can see he's being cautious around things that are 'different', but in a pretty short time, he's completely comfortable in the park. It's about 2 acres and he roams around like he's in charge of it all. Last week when the weather was pretty chilly for So Calif, the group of dogs were in high spirits and all running around like mad. Toby started running as fast as his little legs could go, doing big circles and figure eights. He had me laughing, as I'd never seen him move so fast. Pure joy there! All of us that know him agree that his sight has worsened in the year he's been coming, but he still does amazingly well.

Good luck with your new puppers, and I'm sure your vet will give you more info on the status of her vision.

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Response to catchnrelease (Reply #31)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 12:38 AM

35. This.

flvegan approved

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Response to catchnrelease (Reply #31)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 08:36 AM

46. Aww.

So cute. I've seen her little tail way with happiness several times. I can't wait to see her joyful.
Schnauzer (Samantha) already is.

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Response to easttexaslefty (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 11:30 PM

32. going to a good vet

 

to be checked out and have blood tests is very important. Hard to say if her appetite has fallen off because of a problem or if she was initially eating more out of anxiety, but 1/4 cup does not sound like much food.

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Response to easttexaslefty (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 11:47 PM

34. You're wonderful and here's my only suggestion.....

Bless you for giving these little ones a home together! I can't imagine the trauma to them if these last two had been separated and only one adopted.

After my little one is no longer living, senior small dogs is all I'll take. I'm now disabled and getting older myself -- never want a dog to be in a position that I abandon them through my death and I can't physically do justice to young ones! (And little ones I can pick up and put in my lap to wheel them out to the yard if they can't handle the steps from the front porch....I have an alternate route for my wheelchair.)

Anyway, my beyond wonderful current little rescue (who came to me at about 3-4-years-old and is now about 9) wasn't a great eater. I had two little ones when I got him (my other, a westie, died a couple of months ago) and my little westie was a champ eater who got through her meals twice as fast. He ate incredibly slowly and, for a little guy who had a rough life before he came to his very loving forever home, is the only picky eater dog I've ever had! He is, indeed, a picky eater. He also has dental challenges -- he's missing lots of teeth (had to have lots pulled when I got him and more since.....it's his only health issue so far, though), so I have to take that into account when I feed him anything.

I have him eating like a champ now! Fortunately for my little westie who loved her food, I stumbled on it while she was around and delighted with the ground up chicken breast I now sprinkle on top of the food! Boy, does he love it and there are no more food issues.

He now eats Wellness mostly the stews for canned and the Small Breed for dry food. He likes that alone, but he does really well with the chicken breast. It actually doesn't cost me that much. The market I go to has skinless, boneless chicken breasts in family pack size on sale about once a month -- they slash it to a really good price. I stock up when I need to during the sale time, cook it up in the microwave (poach it, I guess, in just in a pyrex dish filled with water) and freeze it cooked. I defrost as needed, pop it in a cheap small food processor I bought and the ground up version lasts about a week with just this little guy to feed. It may not be practical with your brood, but it's all I have to offer!

Sorry this is so long! Off to bed!

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Response to tpsbmam (Reply #34)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 08:42 AM

48. No, this is great advice!!!

I've been feeding her separately anyway, she seems to prefer that ( the other dog stand like vultures after gobbling down their food) so feeding her something different isn't a issue.
Chicken breasts on the grocery list! Thanks!!!

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Response to easttexaslefty (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 12:45 AM

36. if you can...spend the money for good, nutritious food

good nutrition is probably the most important thing...and love

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Response to smackd (Reply #36)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 08:43 AM

49. Yep. Got that one!

Our dogs and kitties eat better than us!
Better medical care too.

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Response to easttexaslefty (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 02:38 AM

38. Shelter dogs for the win!

 

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Response to DogPawsBiscuitsNGrav (Reply #38)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 08:44 AM

50. Always. :)

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Response to easttexaslefty (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 08:37 AM

47. No suggestions

just for doing this.

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Response to pecwae (Reply #47)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 08:46 AM

51. Thank you

But we're the lucky ones. Who loves you like your fur babies?

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Response to easttexaslefty (Reply #51)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 02:18 PM

61. Nobody.

Nobody loves me like my 4 furbies. And the oldest one seems to love me the most. I wish you many years of joy with these lovely creatures.

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Response to easttexaslefty (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 09:07 AM

52. Love you for this. We have some small experience adopting seniors.

It seems they go through a tougher adjustment period, especially if they were really loved in their former homes. They really miss their former families like anyone else would. Sometimes bad things happen beyond anyone's control -- our Maxie's family got foreclosed on and they had to go to a shelter where dogs weren't welcome. Everyone's heart was broken. Maxie went through months of depression, so it took a lot of love, understanding, patience, and engagement to get her back involved with life again.

We feed Innova. It's a five-star food, grain-free and USA-milled. Our kids self-regulate on it so we leave a bowl filled so they can nibble as they want or need. No weight issues and their coats are stunning.

Talk to them constantly. As their sight goes, they'll depend more and more on your voice. It doesn't matter what you say. They'll understand the kindness and love. In time, they'll come to understand meanings. The big thing is, don't push: "let". Things will come along faster than you think when you look back even though some days might seem long.

We have a crew of six, all rescues, two are very senior, two are passing middle age. I've raised and trained dogs all my life with all-positive methods. If there's anything I can help with, just PM.

When you know your time with them is limited, you tend to make the most of it. Love them all as hard as you can.

Love you for opening your home. Seniors don't last in shelters, "no kill" or not. Depression is a horrible thing and nobody needs to wind up their life that way and most of all, nobody needs to die alone.

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Response to HillWilliam (Reply #52)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 09:32 AM

53. I can tell they were very loved

They are really sweet natured and well behaved. Just elderly.
I think the Maltese is somewhat depressed.
Looking forward to tomorrows vet visit. Well, not money wise; but at least maybe I can get some answers.

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Response to easttexaslefty (Reply #53)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 02:29 PM

62. Just keep loving them

In time they'll realize they're safe, loved, cared for, and they'll be alright. No, it's not the same but you and they realize it. It took Maxie almost a year of sadness before we could love her out of it. Now she wags and barks greetings when I come home and she's right at the door, raising hell with the rest of them lol.

It may be a while before you get that reward, but it will come.

Yeah, seniors come with their own challenges. It's never easy taking care of a geriatric pet. I'm really sure of this: I don't want to die alone and if I can help it, a senior animal won't have to either. It breaks my heart when I see notices come across FB where seniors get turned out just because the owners won't accept the end-of-life responsibilities that come with adopting a puppy or a kitty. They're not furniture -- they're forever. No matter what, they come into this house in my arms and they leave this world in my arms with the best I can provide in between. That's the least they deserve for unconditional love and unending loyalty.

I'm here behind you if you need me. Don't be afraid to ask.

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Response to easttexaslefty (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 10:23 AM

54. i think you'd do really well to find a google or yahoo pet group for blind or older dogs....

there are groups specific to certain breeds and health issues too! once you join, you can do key word searches to look for info and strategy in dealing with your more specific challenges.
i had a cat with kidney failure, and I got better advice on feeding and care there than I did from my vet. i recently pointed a friend towards the group, and she was amazed at how much she learned from it. i also saved myself a whole transmission overhaul by asking the VW group about issues I had- my mechanic couldn't figure it out, but a vw enthusiast replied with the correct (tiny) fix in 20 minutes.
check both google and yahoo- it's kind of random which group ends up with the better forum/ lists.
and good on you for doing this! post pics soon.

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #54)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 10:34 AM

55. Excellent idea!!!

Thanks!

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Response to easttexaslefty (Reply #55)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 10:55 AM

56. you are so very welcome! and a tip.....

when you search groups, look at the stats at how much is there and how active they currently are. it's odd, but some are pretty much only archives (still useful, but not if you have questions) and have died out, and some very active. lots of them never got off the ground. so the quality of the content varies, but there are some amazing ones on general health issues, caring and feeding.
i feel like the my vet visits are a lot more productive when I've done a little research first. vets are often very hesitant to get into feeding and small behavior issues and often want to try things that are "prescribed" rather than try simple changes in diet and environment that can make a world of difference. Again, thanks for saving those lovely dogs. I hope you have many years of health and happiness together.

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #56)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 11:03 AM

57. Yep. Someone up thread suggested

A list.
I'm going to go prepared.,. <3

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Response to easttexaslefty (Reply #57)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 11:13 AM

58. oh great! animal people really love to share their learnings and stories

and the groups are a great vehicle for that. post pics soon!

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #58)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 02:08 PM

60. Indeed!!!

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Response to easttexaslefty (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 02:38 PM

63. keep everything simple for them

no rearranged furniture..no obstacles.

Vary the menu at first to see what they like.Even if it is not the healthiest food they are older and making sure they are getting plenty of food is more important than strict menu choices.

If you have to put the new dogs in a room alone to eat with the door shut so they can feel relaxed while eating.They won't eat good if they feel stressed.

Above all..THANK YOU for caring enough to adopt dogs that are less than the perfect.So many older dogs are destined to spend their lives in a shelter because no one will take them.

You are a good person

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